Vomiting or forceful emptying of the stomach happens when the stomach becomes irritated. This is usually caused by a viral infection, although there are other causes. When vomiting is due to a routine stomach virus, it is sometimes associated with diarrhea.
The following treatment should be used for vomiting and/or diarrhea:
- Give nothing by mouth for three or four hours after the last vomiting episode to rest the stomach, then begin to give fluids with frequent small sips gradually increasing the volume. If the vomiting persists for more than four hours, begin fluids (small sips) anyway, in between vomiting episodes. Much of this fluid can be absorbed even though the vomiting continues. If diarrhea alone is present, begin fluids as outlined below in large amounts.
- Watch closely for signs of dehydration (see section on diarrhea and dehydration of this booklet).
- For the first 24 hours, give:
- no milk products
- clear fluids in small amounts at room temperature and offer frequently
- offer fluids such as: Infalyte or Pedialyte – for infants, Kool-aide or Gatorade – above the age of 2 years, Jello, Jello water, Sprite or 7-Up, Ginger-ale, Pop-sickles
- After 24 hours: Offer bland foods if your child can tolerate these. These foods include:
- Rice or cooked cereal (no margarine or butter)
- Ripe bananas
- dry toast
- After 48 hours: As your child’s appetite increases, offer foods such as:
- Canned or cooked vegetables
- Angel Food cake or plain cookies
- Gelatin /gelatin desserts
- Plain macaroni
- noodles (no cheese or grease)
- Rice or mashed potatoes
- Baked or broiled chicken, fish or turkey
- Bullion or chicken soup (no fat)
You should avoid milk or milk products, whole grain cereals or breads, raw fruits and vegetables, citrus fruits, red meats, greasy foods, and fried and spicy foods for five days after an episode of vomiting and/or diarrhea
You should contact your physician if:
- The vomiting persists for more than 12 hours.
- Signs of dehydration are present (see section on diarrhea and dehydration).
- Your child becomes confused or difficult to arouse.
- The vomiting is associated with a severe headache.
- Your child is less than two months old and is vomiting forcefully.
- The vomiting is green stained (bilious).
- Your child is unable to keep down clear liquids.